Determining the Quality of Your Fishing Rod Hold the rod in your hand. Instead, focus on how you’ll use the rod and what you want to get out of the rod. As you can read, choosing a fishing rod and reel is a thorough subject that needs a lot of research and personal choice. They don’t have the same functionality as casting reels, but they’ll win you over with their simplicity and very low learning curve. An example of a low-gear ratio would be a 5:1:1 to 5:3:1. If your rod is rated for 25-50 pound test, make sure the reel you buy has a maximum drag force that falls somewhere in that range. When purchasing a beginner’s rod, purchase with the intent that this is the beginning of a lifelong fishing passion, and not a passing fad. I think spinning reels are the perfect reels for beginning anglers and great for seasoned veterans. They also have less line carrying capacity. Spinning reels are a great option for beginner and seasoned anglers alike. Yes, you can. Do you need specialized ball-bearings and tension and breaking levers to perfectly control your every cast? Its spool capacity is simply too small. The Redington Fly Rod is made for classic trout … Once the actual fly fishing starts, you’ll want more than 2 or 3 flies with you to choose from. It is the force that slows down the line coming off your reel at the end of the cast. There are also designated trolling rods.  Now, I’m a big advocate for using any longer, heavier rod to troll. It is all about making certain your reel is strong enough to handle the fight. Spin cast reels are built for simplicity and ease-of-use. You could spend more than $1000 on a reel but a good casting reel can be bought for $50. One of the biggest mistakes anglers make is they try to match the rod to the type of fish they are after. Material components can affect a rod’s performance. Of the three types of reels (casting, spinning, spincast), casting rods are the least beginner-friendly by a wide margin. If your fingers easily slip off the handle in the store, it’s only going to get more slippery when wet with water, rain, sweat, and fish slime. That doesn’t make sense any way you try to justify it. Spin casting rods are a great option for light-tackle fishing but lack the versatility and backbone of spinning tackle. This type of reel will last years.  These rods have larger guides that are closer together. Choosing by eyeballing doesn’t usually turn out well. It is our goal for this to be the ultimate beginner’s fishing rod and reel guide for your needs. The longer the rod, the more power you’re affording the fish. Some are standard, some are custom. 3. According to Outdoor Industry’s 2019 Special Report on Fishing, America saw 1.2 million newcomers into fly fishing in 2018. Are you fishing in steep canyons? In many ways, spin casting reels are even simpler than spinning reels. If your tension dial is turned too tight, your bait won’t even be able to lower on its own beneath your rod tip. If you’re on a boat casting along a shoreline, an uncalibrated cast could result in a $20 bass lure stuck up a tree. In my opinion, this is fruitless. It’s not all great for spinning reels though. Therefore unless you are getting a custom rod made, simply go to the store and test run different handles from different brands.Â, Remember, handles are there to help you cast, fight the fish, and balance the rod.  Thus, much of the rod control is determined by the handle you have.Â. Selecting the perfect rod can seem like a daunting challenge. In order to perfectly match your rod with the right fishing reel, remember you’re looking for cost, fit, and line weight specifications. I like that you can quickly switch from left to right-handed reel and back very quickly. Rod length also affects the fighting experience. April 16, 2019. They aren’t as expensive so you should still consider them. A high-gear ratio reel is your fastest reel. If casting into the wind, this is especially important since the wind will stop your bait short of its potential. By reading our articles on various techniques, such as dropshotting, cranking, frog fishing, and flipping/pitching you can get a pretty good idea of the rod and action that best compliments each technique. There are 3 basic gear ratio categories: low, medium, and high. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of hazards for fishing rods. These are better in general than standard fiberglass rods. Next, you have composite materials like e-glass and s-glass material rods. When taking this mindset to the tackle shop, you a more assured for walking out with quality. Carbon fiber rods are very strong and very light. Most rods are made of a combination of both (usually referred to as composite).  Â, The best thing you can do is understand the benefits of each when making your purchase.Â, Graphite is the premium material used for fishing (as previously mentioned, it’s also sometimes referred to as carbon fibre). It is good for taking in line really fast. What you’re actually paying for when you shell out big money is the experience, not the function. © 2020 Copyright Freshwater Fishing Advice. Anything much larger than that size of fish and you’re much better off going with a spinning reel. Pin. A 14-foot rod may be able to cast a mile but will be too awkward for all but the tallest fishermen to handle. Big fish aren’t one of the hazards you need to concern yourself with. Remember that short rods work best for lighter fish where you want to use a more delicate technique on the water. 2-piece rods do offer a distinct advantage to fishermen though. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Co-founder of Ladies of Angling. Don’t buy a reel if you can bend the crank handle with your bare hand.  It is entirely possible to put a baitcasting reel on a spinning rod and vise-versa. 4. Most casting reels come in aluminum, magnesium and composite materials. The Suitable Teel Type. This reel is the most versatile and is best for beginning fishermen. Whatever fishing rod you have or you want to get, each of them has a different motive. The wider-diameter reels will counter this by making the fluorocarbon wrap around the reel more gradually. Therefore, it’s important to do your research and review the brand and it’s manufacturing process before paying a premium price tag.  All brands tend to build a rod a bit differently.Â, Fishing rod technology is continuously changing; therefore it’s important to keep an eye on the latest material changes before purchasing a rod.Â, Learn about fishing line our complete guide: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fishing Line, Next we are going to learn the fishing rod “lingo”. Therefore, we invest most of our money into lighter weight equipment and use more universal or affordable gear for the bigger species.  Shorter, lightweight rods have generally work better with these presentations, and sensitivity is the most important factor – not casting distance. Try a fast action with a  heavy power to help you fight the fish.  These rods are often longer, have smaller guides that are spaced farther apart, and point up when in use. Spinning reels are also easy to use. You can read more about my walleye setup right here. As its name implies, the baitcasting reel shines for casting. Composite reels are very light but not as durable as magnesium and aluminum. Find the Correct Weight. Stick with rods under 12 feet long. Fly rod length is important for many reasons. Spinning reels tend to be a favorite of jig techniques, where relentless casting often favors a baitcasting reel. As it has been discussed above, graphite proves to be light weight when compared to fiberglass, thus rods made of graphite prove to be a wide choice amongst the anglers. Where this can come into play is you are using a fluorocarbon fishing line. They may not be able to do everything casting reels can, but they cost less, are easier to use, and have more versatility. You can get a quality spinning reel for a fraction of the cost and it will come much more user-friendly without the steep learning curve. Rod length has everything to do with casting distance and fighting experience. Gear ratio refers to the number of times your spool turns with each complete handle rotation. But as a beginner, chances are you’ll value simplicity over extravagance. Secondly, they are generally quicker than shorter rods. Another advantage of a casting reel is the control over casting distance. When choosing the best fishing rod for a beginner what you are really looking for is a good all round rod. Select reels with more ball bearings when you have the realistic option in your budget range. Aluminum reels are a bit pricier but not too much. When fighting a large fish, you’ll need a very adjustable drag to land it. It is designed to react slowly and helps put more torque on your bait to move it along. PENN Fierce III Live Liner Spinning Combo (Best Quality Option) >>Check Price on Bass Pro … On a boat where space is more confined and long casts aren’t needed, you’ll rarely need a rod longer than 8 feet. This makes them better suited for vertical techniques. Â. Like I mentioned with my ridiculous 2×4 reference, any decent rod will catch fish. The braking system will keep line coming from your reel from over-running the line being pulled by the bait. Complete Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Fishing Rod! The gold standard seems to be magnesium but for slightly cheaper, you can get aluminum reels. What I’m referring to are jerk baits and baits you actively twitch and move while you retrieve. You’ll also want to be able to use them for most … Want to Know the Best Time of Day to Fish? Is there going to be heavy or dense shrubbery? Most ice fishermen don't put a ton of thought towards the diameter of their holes, how much distance is between each, their pattern, or what depth of water they position over. Kids rods. 2. Ball bearings play a pivotal role in the smoothness of a reel. If this flexes at all, pass. Lighter compared to equivalent strength spinning reel, Improves longevity on the water without fatigue, You can’t switch reel from left-to-right handed, More complicated fishing with casting reels than with spinning reels, You can switch left or right-handed very easily, Great “starter” reel for kids and new anglers, Enough strength for small bass, panfish, and trout. I think spin casting reels are great for beginning anglers and do offer value to more seasoned fishermen. Frogs and plastic worms are ideal for high-gear ratio reels. These are hybrid components and represent the next step up in quality.  Figuring out which rod is the right one for you means understanding rod classifications, your goals, and your budget. Are you going to be casting so much you worry about casting fatigue? It slows down your reel so the line never exits your reel faster than your bait flies through the air. Whenever the question arises as to how to choose a Fishing Rod for beginners, we examine the material. A common reel will take up 35-45 inches of line per turn of the handle. A good length for beginner anglers is usually around 7 feet. A T-shaped handle will be more comfortable when fighting big fish. In a typical rod-reel-line situation, your fishing rod is actually the strongest link in the chain. Don’t buy a reel if its handle reverses. These are very important factors to consider on casting reel. Share. I am an avid angler and outdoorsman. Everything You Want to Know About the Crappie Spawn (& Why They Turn Black), THE MYSTERIOUS TIGER TROUT—HOW & WHERE TO CATCH TIGER TROUT, My Top 3 Muskie Baits That Just Simply Catch Muskie, 5 ICE FISHING GEAR MUST-HAVES FOR THE FEMALE ANGLER. Picking which one is right really comes down to the size of the lure you are throwing – therefore to some degree the size of the fish you are planning on targeting.  (The only time I find this not to be true is when people throw really finesse bait for larger fish – which is sometimes entirely necessary. This is particularly beneficial when vertical jigging.Â, However, the sensitivity on the fast action rod can actually work against you when fighting fish (or pulling heavy baits). Â, Moderate and slow rods shine when trolling and/or using larger and heavier baits.  For instance, using a longer, moderate action rod is often preferred when using presentations such as crank-baits where getting farther out from the boat is important.Â, Think of moderate action as preferred when sensitivity is not a factor but absorbing the hit and fight of a fish is. For fluorocarbon line, the reel to the right would not be a good choice. Kaitlin Woodward’s Kayak Bowfishing Setup, The Lake is Calling and I Must Go - Advice From Avid Fishermen Jane Davis, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fishing Line, Finding Your Fish—Targeting The Adventure & Avoiding Angler Burn-Out, Multi-Species Fishing Wisconsin by Lauren Preston, Longer rods give you more distance trolling, Longer rods help distance you from the boat when vertical jigging, Shorter rods are just that – more compact, Shorter rods work better in tight spaces – whether it’s on the water or in the boat, Shorter rods tend to have more forgiving action, Shorter rods allow for more control (working a jig), Can you afford more than one type of rod? Power is the amount of effort needed to bend the rod; in comparison to action (which is where the rod bends). Let’s take a quick look at each of the actions most rods will have: This is the rod’s specifications label located on the spine of the rod near the handle. If you are going to be fishing sm… For a beginner, you would be able to cast a long rod easier than you can cast a short rod. Let’s say you’re fishing for big striped bass and you have a rod that can handle 100+ pounds of force without breaking, 40-pound test monofilament, but you have a reel that can only generate 20 pounds of drag. And after rods, will move on to reels , fly lines, leaders, tippet, and beyond! You could also check out the handle itself. The length shouldn’t be more than 7-8 feet, or you will have difficulty using it. You get what you pay for in this department so don’t skimp on a reel with a poor drag system. This spin casting reel is the ‘short-necked’ version which rests on a bait casting-type rod. This can be very important if you have a group of kids sharing the same rod. A big issue with gear failing during a fight happens in the case where your reel is not strong enough for your rod. Also, make sure your reel has an automatic anti-reversal system. They are supposed to be pricey. The spool is encased in a protective cover (shell) with a single small opening for the line to exit. You can cast a casting reel a lot further than a spinning reel but more importantly, you can control how far your bait goes with added pressure from your thumb. That won’t break the bank but will be a quality reel. This can important for fishing large baits or in situations where hundreds of yards of line is required. Casting reels are much lighter than their equivalent spinning reel. I will say that for small bass, panfish, and trout, spin casting reels will work great. Gear. Greater lengths equal greater distances.Â, Knowing these factors, grab a few rods of different lengths and see which ones fit best in your hand.Â, Personally, for walleye fishing I run a short rod – 6 feet to be exact.  When casting, I will sport a shorter rod as well (in contrast to many anglers).  The only time I desire a long rod is when I’m trolling.Â, The key is to consider what technique you are relying on and then grab a couple rods and test them out. After you have decided where you are going to invest your hard earned resources, it’s a good idea to determine what reel you prefer.  This is not a reel guide – however, you should first determine if you want to invest in a baitcaster or a spinning reel. Check out where the drag setting on your reel is. Do not go too long here though. They are lighter yet able to handle a wider size-range of fish. If you enjoy the fight and want to experience the full power of bass and pike, then opt for a longer rod like an 8′ rod. This dial is the brake for a bait casting reel. If money is a point of concern for you, just stick with fiberglass unless you can afford high-end carbon-fiber. This how-to guide will lead beginner and seasoned fishermen through the maze of marketing hype to an end result of selecting the best rod and reel combo for their needs and abilities. Sure, rods do break when fighting fish occasionally but almost always, it is a result of a faulty or previously damaged rod. You will pay for it. Even more astonishing is 20 pounds of pressure is less than 1/5 of the rod’s max capacity. Nicole Stone. In this instance, that extra fast and fast action rods will make fighting the fish incredibly difficult).Â, Extra fast is the most sensitive.  It allows you to feel the smallest of bites while enabling you to set the hook as quickly as possible (the stiffness of the rod quickly kicks in during the hook set).  When you need sensitivity, you will find extra fast and fast action tend to be the best. Spinning reels are much less expensive than casting reels. Don’t put a $250 fishing reel on a $40 rod. Spend all day casting, and you’ll really enjoy the big spinning reel a lot less than the smaller casting reel. Select thin-diameter fiberglass if you can. It can handle heavier baits like a low-gear ratio reel but can suck up line quickly like a high-gear reel. Discover the best time of day to catch bass, trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, carp, and many more depending on the season, moon phases, and weather. Casting reels are an interesting option for fishermen. They require more money and more skill to use. Which link in that chain seems weakest? These are usually preferred for pike, muskie, or for certain bass fishing situations.Â, One question a lot of people ask is can you “mix and match”. If you desire to know the best fishing pole for bass, you need to know the materials used. With the exception of … © Nicole Stone LLC 2018 | Ladies of Angling is a collaborative project between Nebraska Muskie Girl and Nicole Stone Outdoors, The type of fish you plan on targeting the most, The main presentation you plan on using for these fish, Once you have an answer for those questions, you can start deciding what specifications are the best fit for your angling goals. Â,  When trolling, medium action is often a solid compromise for most fresh water game fish. For many beginning anglers, finding the right fishing rod is one of the most overwhelming tasks. They are typically on the front of the spool or on the back of the frame. If given a choice between a cheap fiberglass rod and a cheap carbon-fiber rod, hands down the winner is the cheap fiberglass rod. You can also choose from longer or shorter handle depending on the distance you are hoping to cast. Is it slick or non-stick coated? When it comes to the selection of reel, go for a medium spinning reel. Â, As mentioned, rod power is how easy (or how hard it is) to bend the rod.  It’s a great correlation to how heavy of a line and bait you should be using. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits). There are many types of rod materials you can choose. To really understand which rod is the best for you, you need to consider a number of factors. There are a large variety of handles to choose from. Thin-diameter fiberglass is solid fiberglass as opposed to thick-diameter fiberglass which is actually hollow down the core. Meanwhile, a 20-pound catfish may overwhelm a small kid with an 8-foot rod. It will work for everything except the smallest jigs and biggest swimbaits. There are 7 species of Salmon in North American waterways and they are incredibly valued targets for fishermen. There is also longer grips, shorter grips, grips made for casting.. and so forth.  Thankfully, most of the rods have a handle and grip made specifically for its particular use and balance. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits), link to Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. After selecting your rod, refer to the spine of your rod and find the sticker or etching which specifies which pound test range of fishing line is recommended. To save money but still have a quality reel, I recommend either aluminum or composite reels. With ever-improving rod technology and innovation, those differences today are minuscule. Tension refers to the line coming off your reel at the beginning of the cast.  Of course, it works best with a casting rod (which yes, is different than a spinning rod). Refer to the “spine” of a rod you’re considering for bait specifications. A large diameter spool will result in more line being accumulated with each turn of the handle. Power refers to the strength of the rod. Also, don’t put a bulky reel on a small rod and vice versa. You can break down the rod and put it in your car trunk or similar tight storage unit for transportation or safe-keeping. You may pay 1/4 the price for a quality spinning reel as you would for a comparably fitted casting reel. These models are much more common than rear-frame drag dials. How to Choose a Fishing Reel. They also have a pistol grip that gives the angler better leverage for the cast. If you are new and on a budget, the best thing you can do is determine where most of your time is spent and make decisions based on that. They are very light and durable. Do you need a fishing rod and reel combo? We have sifted through dozens of the best rods, reels, and rod-and-reel combinations to deliver only the best recommendations. It will also last many years since aluminum is so durable. The reality is, we can’t have a rod for every species and every situation – but we can plan accordingly to get the most out of our budget.Â, “Making a list of your fishing goals, techniques, and the budget you plan on having before investing in a premium rod.”. Make sure your drag system is very sensitive. Don’t cheap out on a carbon-fiber rod as a cheap carbon-fiber rod is likely made with substandard components. Know the material used. Longer rods lend themselves to shore fishing where long casts are desired and you have plenty of space to work. There are various things you first need to sort before getting your fishing rod. Shorter handles on your fishing rod are great for roll casting, casting with one hand, or looking for a precise cast at a shorter distance. The first thing to consider when choosing a fishing rod for a child is the size. One of the first things that you will notice when shopping for a fly rod is the rod length options. If the rod is too big for your kids to handle, they’ll become frustrated and may lose interest. My personal preference is on the front of the spool. A simple thumb tension will drop that bait perfectly in front of the bank. Do you need hundreds of yards of line capacity? They are best for fishing in open beaches, lakes when you would do a lot of casting. When selecting a fishing rod, there are a number of things to look for. You can fight big fish on a small casting reel you’d need a very large spinning reel to handle.  It is entirely possible to put a, Therefore, it’s important to do your research and review the brand and it’s manufacturing process. If you enjoy the fight and want to experience the full power of bass and pike, then opt for a longer rod like an 8′ rod. They are remarkably simple and easy to use along with being more adequate for most freshwater game fishing situations. Since then, I've lived across the country and have really taken that passion for fishing to a new level. How to Choose Your Fly Fishing Gear. Don’t get a rod ill-equipped to handle your type of casting and fishing. However, they are not very flexible unless you pay a premium for a high-quality carbon-fiber rod. In this Beginner Bass Fishing video I talk about choosing your first fishing rod. Water type: Fishing rods are built for two types of … Choose the right fishing rod for specific types of fishing, and plan on building an entire arsenal.  They tend to have more guides and point down when mounted with a spinning reel. The best fishing rod for beginners should have the following features: As a beginner, you should go for a medium action rod with graphite. But there are really great rod and reel combos available that will fit your budget and deliver long-lasting quality. Casting rods don’t allow for such easy switching. As your budget allows, buy a spinning reel with as many ball bearings as you can find. Spin casting reels are often thought of as “kid’s reels” and looked down upon by adults. Read on for our Beginner’s Guide to choosing a fly rod by us here at the Duranglers fly shop. The weakest link in the chain limits the chain. Is it panfish?Â, These species usually require vastly different techniques.  These techniques are benefited by proper equipment.Â. Will you be fly fishing a river, lake, or a stream? Most freshwater rods will range from 0-8 power: When factoring the power of a rod, understand you will want a rod strong enough to handle the baits and weights you’ll be using. When jigging, a fast or extra fast action rod is almost always preferred. Â. Power. In most cases, the reel is actually the weakest dog in the fight. More ball bearings = smoother, better casts, and better performance.  These include: Once you have an answer for those questions, you can start deciding what specifications are the best fit for your angling goals. Choosing THE RIGHT ROD One thing you should never forget before picking a fishing rod is, the rod you pick should be compatible with the fishing reel you will be adding to it, this is especially for the beginners. For most freshwater fishing, this won’t be a big factor. Don’t settle for a single ball bearing. Generally speaking, the bigger the fish, the bigger the lure and therefore the greater the power. When you’re fighting a fish, adjusting the drag is just easier on the front of the spool, easier to see, and easier to access. 2. So if you’re used to a fast-action western-style fly rod, you might prefer a slightly stiffer action tenkara rod like the Iwana 6:4, the Yamame 7:3 or the Amago 6:4. Can be found chasing walleye, pike, and the occasional sunfish. This would likely contrast someone who prefers to spend their time casting endlessly for muskie or pike.  Their gear locker would likely be filled with baitcasters and longer, heavier rods. It has a brake to slow running fish, a handle to retrieve line … Therefore able to purchase more specific rods for each species?Â, Would you need a rod with more versatility?Â, How important is sensitivity and brand quality?Â. They are great for taking up slack very quick before setting a hook. Material. Thin-diameter fiberglass rods are much stronger and more flexible than thicker fiberglass. Don’t worry if your rod is strong enough to handle big fish.  They have different shapes, lengths, and are made of different material.  Materials include, cork, foam, carbon and so many more. For many beginning anglers, finding the right fishing rod is one of the most overwhelming tasks. Go for a rod that is just heavy enough to show that it is high quality and will work fine, and choose a rod made of a material that is light, especially if it is a beginner’s fishing rod. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to How to choose a saltwater fishing rod? This provides the sensitivity found in graphite but the added toughness and affordability found with fiberglass. The reality is that many rods come in a combination of graphite and fiberglass. You will find rods anywhere from 6 feet all the way to 9 feet. When you hear the word power in fishing, remember it is all about the weight of the rod. Let’s take the following scenario for example. This makes this moody-type of fishing line more manageable. With enough patience, you can catch a 200-pound marlin on a 2×4 from the local hardware store. Another very important thing to match up is the line weight specifications. In fact, you cannot switch a reel from one side-handed to the other.